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Firefighting Standards Reduce Risk & Liability

by | Blog

(Calling All Fire Chiefs)

Why should Fire Standards remain a priority and part of your Leader’s Intent? Start by asking yourself the following: 

  • Would you work in a commercial building without proper fire code compliance? 
  • Would you live in a community without properly trained firefighters? 
  • Would you raise your family in a state without proper firefighting capability? 

If any of the above were true right now… would this concern you?

Firefighting has come a long way in the last 30 years and standards are the main reason why risk and liability have been reduced; we all know and often take it for granted and if anyone ever questions standards and compliance, your Fire Department must take notice.

Standards are in place to ensure that everyone knows the “rules” and are compliant. As standards evolve over time, so do Fire Departments to best prepare their communities for potential risk. Kind of like dealing with Covid has led to changes to SOPs and other standards.

The industry knows the fire service has standards; NFPA, FUS, ISO, CAFI, IAFC, NIST, FEMA to name a few, yet every day our team hears the same thing over and over when talking to firefighters;

“We are not able to keep up with the standards unless we modernize.”

Like any industry, not being able to keep up is not good enough… because if you don’t keep up, you will not keep pace with today’s demand (which is, by definition, the expectation)! Other industries have already seen change and adapted in our everyday lives, you no longer need to deposit your paycheck through a bank teller, and can now simply tap a card to pay for groceries. It’s time that Fire Departments start using the latest technologies making their operations simpler, streamlined, and meet important fire standards.
It’s a  challenge for today’s modern Fire Department to know your community’s risk and having data such as building information, hazards, occupancy, and more. Firefighters are not able to keep up unless they rethink their approach. Paper files, data collecting in the field using pen/paper, trying to use a record management system (RMS) for pre-plans and inspections, are all major risks being taken by Fire Departments today because it’s not working. Fire Chiefs and their departments must rethink how technology — like the smartphone in their pocket — can help! Smartphones are more powerful than the computer on your desk and even faster than a supercomputer, which sold for millions of dollars, just 20 years ago. 

Protecting your community, meeting standards, reducing risk, and leveraging tools like your smartphone. It’s as easy as Kodak once said, “Just Point and Shoot”. Just last year, it was estimated that over 1.4 TRILLION photos were taken on smartphones, and a picture easily becomes 1,000 dispatched words! 

Today’s modern Fire Department can easily be capturing real-time data, it’s already happening and being done, and communities are safer: just ask any department that has modernized!

“With (smart technology), our emergency crews now have instant access to hydrants, emergency shut-offs, protection equipment, maps, and more. Pre-incident planning carries many benefits for Emergency Responders and their community… This planning ahead can aid in reducing a community’s insurance rating, assist firefighters in reducing risk and ultimately save lives.”  Central York Fire

If you haven’t done so, the time is now. Today’s modern Fire Departments have no choice unless they want to face what the Oakland Fire Department did in 2020 with their $32 million settlement for those affected by the Ghostship Fire. These risks are real and are often reported as “it could have been worse”: however, the reality is it should have perhaps never happened in the first place because the modern Fire Department can easily have the ability with technology to reduce the risk in the community before it’s too late.

“To save lives, protect properties and build safer communities”

“To save lives, protect properties and build safer communities,” is what all Fire Chiefs want, and a strategy that leverages modern tools and capabilities, like your smartphone in your hand, is how to get there — helping you keep up to date with standards.

After 30 years of personally helping fire departments modernize and adopt new ways to communicate and respond to emergencies, I know that today’s firefighter is now better positioned to prevent disasters from happening! Contact us to learn how to get caught up quickly with standards.  

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About the author

Paul Martin, President & CEO, APX Data

Paul Martin has devoted his career to public safety. He has helped departments across Canada and the United States through his work with Airbus and Motorola Public Safety Divisions. He is currently the founder and CEO of APX Data, a company devoted exclusively to helping fire departments modernize their fire prevention, response and fire investigations through the use of mobile technology. APX Data was first to market, introducing smart mobile applications to the fire service in 2013. APX has validated information on over 140 million structures in its database for all of the U.S., and is growing at a rate of more than 50% year over year. To talk to Paul, please connect with him on LinkedIn, visit apxdata.com or call 1-888-240-0591.

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